IT is encouraging to know that according to the results of a study published in the British Medical Journal, the Scottish Government's policy of minimum pricing of alcohol already appears to be starting to make a difference after being introduced in May of last year ("Minimum pricing has curbed drinking more than expected", The Herald, September 26). But we will never know how many lives could have been improved and even saved over the ten years of countless wrangling by the opposition parties, objections from the Scotch Whisky Association and the judgement of several courts, before it became law.

Ruth Marr, Stirling.

A COUPLE of years ago a man who worked in alcohol addiction support in the north of Glasgow told me that that area was the largest duty-free zone in Europe for alcohol and tobacco. One has to ask if the researchers could calculate how much of the trade that reputable outlets had lost had simply been switched to the suppliers of contraband goods

Ken Nicholson, Glasgow G43.

Weather woes

I FOUND Rosemary Goring’s article ("Listen to a gardener: global warming crisis has already started", The Herald, September 25) very interesting being myself a keen and pretty experienced gardener poly-tunnel and all. My garden is in Donegal but the weather we get is the same as the Scottish west coast we just get it a few hours before Largs does. If you can eat it I’ll give it a go and plant it; flowers are pretty but ye just cannae eat them.

I am in no doubt that changes in weather patterns, one assumes due to progressive climate change, have wreaked havoc on my crops this year; tomatoes failing to ripen because of grey skies, pears, nectarines and peaches splitting and useless, raspberry canes devastated by unseasonal gales. It’s a shame you can’t eat slugs and weeds, I’d never starve. Earlier in the year many of the seeds I sowed outdoors failed to germinate. Even cutting the grass (mind you there is an acre of it) is something that needs be done after consulting online rain radar patterns to spot gaps in the seemingly incessant showers.

Recently the Alicante/Valencia region in Spain was subjected to catastrophic rainfall with extensive destructive flooding of the agricultural land that supplies the UK with much of its winter salad vegetables. It’ll be interesting to see the non-Brexit-related effect that will have on UK consumers. One could cite umpteen similar examples. Old beggars like me are always moaning that things were different back then, but honestly as regards the weather it was. We need to accept that climate change is real and ensure that we as a species are not responsible for it worsening.

David J Crawford, Glasgow G12.

Stroke hope

IN his letter on behalf of the Stroke Association (September ,25) Brian Cox wrote about the positive and welcome changes to stroke care in his home town of Dundee.

Stroke is a leading cause of adult disability in Scotland and all advancements to the services available should be welcomed. However, in his letter there is no mention of mechanical thrombectomies being included in the new plans for the centre of excellence being set up at Ninewells Hospital. I would sincerely hope this is being included in their plans and that other centres of excellence in stroke care in Scotland will also be including this treatment as part of their service.

Currently it is estimated that 600 to 800 people having a stroke across Scotland would be suitable for a mechanical thrombectomy and the overall cost, not only in savings to the NHS, but economically and to the patients and their families should surely make this a priority when planning these services. At the moment Scotland is sadly lagging behind many other countries, including England and Northern Ireland, in offering this treatment.

Anne Andrews, Glasgow G20.